Biking race (Coast to Coast) 17:21:38  212.4 mi (12.2 mph) +6762ft
ahr:134 max:164 rhr:48 slept:6.0 shoes: Airborne Delta CX
Time noted is just moving time. Elapsed time was 19:27:27.
I love a spring race because there's at least the hope that it won't be miserably hot, and I've proved time and again that I'm no good in the heat. Unfortunately, this spring race fell on the heels of me trying to make it to more of Jacob's weekend games and thus managing less training and, in particular, fewer long rides than I needed. Admittedly, along with life pressures, I wasn't very motivated to log miles on gravel this time around.
So. I knew I was likely to struggle, but I also know I'm capable of covering the mileage, even if it was more suffer-y than it needed to be. The main struggle, though, came from unexpected avenues.
First, I totally underestimated the elevation gain. "Only 5,000 feet" said the website. Psh, Spotted Horse is twice than in 50 fewer miles. No problem. Right. Except, my garmin showed over 1000 feet more than that, and basically all of the climbing was confined to the middle 80ish miles. Still not crazy, but it wasn't nothing and I had a hard time with that and the sand. So much sand!
My bigger issue was sleepiness. I'd gotten little sleep Wednesday and Thursday nights, and maybe that's what did it, but I fought heavy sleepiness even in leg 1, then again in 3, and it became truly debilitating in the last leg. In 1 and 3 I was rescued by meeting and riding with other people, and the conversation perked me up. From about mile 180 to the finish, though, I was on my own and struggling not to fall asleep as I rode. It was the easiest leg since the first, but I couldn't keep my eyes open. I tried singing loudly to myself, eating caffeinated gels and coffee beans, and even stopped several times to close my eyes for a minute or so, hoping maybe it would refresh me. In the end, the only thing that worked was slapping myself hard in the face for the last 20 miles as I rode. It's still sore today, but I made it to the finish line.
Super well organized -- and it was a first-time race. I didn't think the first 50 miles or so was anything too special, a lot of pavement and just the same kind of rural views we're used to seeing. The other three legs, however, didn't disappoint. Lots of cool forest two-track. My son Daniel crewed for us and did a great job.
I rode pretty well on the first two loops and was very efficient with my time at the CPs. I stayed on top of my eating, drinking, and electrolytes. No chafing to speak of, and my body felt pretty good even at the end. I really need to avoid the sleep thing, because that killed my last leg. But I stuck it out and have my new long ride PR.